So let’s talk about these 35 year old wrinkles I am starting to see. You know, the scowl lines between the eyebrows—come on 3 kids! Yes, let’s talk Botox! Botox is a booming industry, over $3 billion to be exact. By the third quarter in 2018, there were $1.3 billion in sales. Wait, I thought you said it was a $3 billion dollar industry—why did they suddenly lose money?
That’s just it—they didn’t. The other $1.5 billion in sales by the 3rd quarter in 2018 was for therapeutic Botox, i.e. medically diagnosed conditions.
Wait, what? Does that mean what I think it means? YES! There are reasons outside of my crows feet to get Botox.
So let’s start with the basics, what is Botox—onabotulinumtoxin A to be exact—huh? Remember how you aren’t supposed to feed your under 1 year old child honey because of the risk of botulism—yup, that’s the stuff! It prevents the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from axon endings at the neuromuscular junction and thus causes flaccid paralysis—say what? In laymen’s terms, it causes muscles to become paralyzed so they cannot move—hence no more wrinkles. You guessed it—muscle paralysis can be a great thing for other medical issues—some off label uses too, though you need to ask your doctor about this, as you will likely need a specialist in this area.
So what are some of these medical issues (just in case you didn’t click the link)? Migraines, excess sweating, neck muscle spasms, bladder spasms, reflux—oh my! Seriously though, Botox is not first line, and you have to fail many therapies that are going to be safer and cheaper (audible eyeroll, right?). But if you suffer from any of the above, talk to your doctor—Botox may actually be right for you!
…until next time, #IrishDoc07